Carrie Bradshaw (Parker) and her fashion-conscious gal pals are back, and they’re taking the girl-power high jinks to a whole new level. First things first, though: the gay, gay, gay wedding of bestest friends Anthony Marantino (Mario Cantone) and Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson), where chorus boys sing “Sunrise, Sunset,” swans frolic among the guests, and Liza Minnelli officiates. Watching that queerest of queer icons risk her umpteenth hip replacement by performing Beyonc’s “Single Ladies” (dance moves and all!) is as suspenseful as a Hitchcock set piece, and a difficult act to top. So writer-director Michael Patrick King doesn’t even try.
Instead, after this rest-home Sasha Fierce overture, we’re plunged headfirst into Carrie and friends’ familiar mock-troubled paradise: Ms. Bradshaw’s relationship with the debonair Mr. Big (Chris Noth) is moving further toward stifling domesticity. Neurotic mother Charlotte (Davis) is worried her braless live-in nanny has the hots for her hubby. Lawyer Miranda (Nixon) quits her job after too many put-downs from her chauvinist boss. And Samantha (Cattrall) is, well, horny as fuck. What a great time to take an all-expenses-paid trip to Abu Dhabi!
Under the rule of this formidable foursome, the big, bad Middle East becomes a menopausal Westerner’s delight. One wrongheaded jaw-dropper follows another, from Samantha’s description of a gay manservant as “Paula Abdul” to a comic climax in which the ladies escape an angry male mob by wearing hijabs and abayas given to them by like-minded Muslim women. And the featherbrained feminism the franchise specializes in reaches its apex when Carrie files her latest book (I Do. Do I?) beside Susan Sontag’s Against Interpretation. How do you say “In your dreams, girlfriend” in Arabic?—Keith Uhlich
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